jackleg

adjective
jack·​leg | \ ˈjak-ˌleg How to pronounce jackleg (audio) , -ˌlāg \

Definition of jackleg

1a : characterized by unscrupulousness, dishonesty, or lack of professional standards a jackleg lawyer
b : lacking skill or training : amateur a jackleg carpenter
2 : designed as a temporary expedient : makeshift

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Other Words from jackleg

jackleg noun

Did You Know?

Don't call someone jackleg unless you're prepared for that person to get angry with you. Throughout its more than 150-year-old history in English, jackleg has most often been used as a term of contempt and deprecation, particularly in reference to lawyers and preachers. Its form echoes that of the similar blackleg, an older term for a cheating gambler or a worker opposed to union policies. Etymologists know that blackleg appeared over a hundred years before jackleg, but they don't have any verifiable theories about the origin of either term.

Examples of jackleg in a Sentence

a toolshed that can be built by any jackleg carpenter who's capable of hitting a nail without smashing his thumb he did such a jackleg installation of that door frame that now the door won't shut

First Known Use of jackleg

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for jackleg

jack entry 1 + -leg (as in blackleg)

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Time Traveler for jackleg

Time Traveler

The first known use of jackleg was in 1833

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Cite this Entry

“Jackleg.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jackleg. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on jackleg

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jackleg

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